J I Kleinberg

Judy Kleinberg on Captain Who?

June 28, 2024

Captain who???

As you may have noticed, there’s a new term in the Poetry Postcard Fest glossary for 2024: List Captain.

Like many grassroots organizations that grow organically, the annual Fest would probably not happen without the hands-on attention of one person. Of course, that’s co-founder and postcard wrangler extraordinaire Paul Nelson.

Over the last few years, Paul has shared some planning and brainstorming activity with a committee of experienced postcarders, but he was still doing the laborious clerical work. For each list of 32 names, every correction has to be recorded and distributed, which sometimes involved four, five, six, or more iterations of a single group list before the information was confirmed.

That seemed like an unreasonable burden, subject to frustrating delays and inevitable errors, so this year we’re trying out a new system: List Captains. Paul Nelson is, of course, one, with the list duties shared by captains Verónica Martinez (Cascadia Poetics Lab Administrative Assistant), Sally Hedges-Blanquez, Ina Roy-Faderman, Zach Charles, Margaret Lee, and me, Judy Kleinberg. Interestingly, we are mostly NOT in the group(s) we are captaining.

The idea is that each of us serves as a communication hub for the people on our list(s). We solicit corrections, make sure they are forwarded for inclusion in the year’s roster of participants, distribute lists (on or about July 4), answer questions, and generally make ourselves available to the group and the fest.

This is a work in progress. We don’t have all the answers and we don’t all have the same time or knowledge or skills. But we’re hopeful that this makes life easier for Paul and maybe, eventually, a little less confusing for participants. We already have ideas about how it can work better next year.

Meanwhile, if you have questions, ask your list captain!

And have a wonderful 2024 Poetry Postcard Fest!


  1. Annis Cassells

    Thanks to all of you. I’m sure this will help immensely.

  2. ina

    Yay Judy!

  3. joanne rowley

    I’m happy to have Ina as a list captain to go to for questions instead of burdening Paul all the time. She has already clarified my address. Thanks to all of you for making this easy and so much fun.

  4. Gene Supparits

    It’s only my second year but I can see that having one person oversee myriad tasks and lists has happily been outgrown. This is a good idea – task for the captains is to make it work which I am confident they will.

  5. Splabman

    Thanks Gene.

  6. Penelope Moffet

    Definitely a good idea to distribute the work among several people instead of Paul having to everything. Thanks to all of you for working on this.

  7. Stanley Sabre

    Captain Judy…thanks for stepping up and receiving the promotion with such enthus”miasm”…sometimes 5 plus iterations can be eye/mind boggling…namaste StanleydelGozo

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